Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lesson In Customer Service

A certain telephone company (which will remain nameless) has finally ticked me off to the point that I am in the process of divesting myself of any product of theirs that I can. Here's the story:

For reasons I will not go into, I had to get a new phone early last month. I went into the [NAME REDACTED] kiosk at [A LOCAL MALL]. I explained that my three-year-old cheap Kyocera phone had been run-over by a complete wanker when I accidentally dropped it in the street. (That's another story, but yes, the guy was a wanker. He pulled half-way out of his lane into the Light Rail lane to hit my phone and then pulled back into his lane.) I needed my new phone to have at least the functionality that my old phone had.

They sold me a Motorola Razor W385 for $299 and swore blind that once I got the software from Motorola and connected it I could download my phone book so I would not have to re-program it. Eight weeks, lots of email, and a bunch of hours on the phone with various support personnel later, I discovered that this was not the case.

Not only could I not load my phonebook from my PC to this phone, I could not load it to any phone that they sell with the exception of a couple $500 PDA Phones (like a blackberry or a treo) that they sell. Oh, but that was not where [NAME REDACTED] drew the line! The proverbial last straw was that this phone would not work either unless I got a PDA subscription for an additional $20 per month!

"Why…" I asked "…should I have to pay an additional charge to do what the phone was designed to do?" From my point of view, this was standard functionality of the phone. But this is not how [NAME REDACTED] saw it. The customer service representative I was dealing with informed me that this was an additional revenue stream. [NAME REDACTED] had decided not to give away what they could charge for and so they had Motorola disable this ability on [NAME REDACTED] branded phones.

"You may be able to bill for it…" I said "...but you won't be billing me!"

By the end of the month, I will have gotten rid of every service [NAME REDACTED] provides me with that I can find an alternate supplier for. (Unfortunately, they have a monopoly in one of the services they render.)

This conversation happened yesterday morning around 11:30. I already have a new phone and new phone service with [ANOTHER WIRELESS PROVIDER] and not only did the phone cost significantly less than the one from [NAME REDACTED] but [ANOTHER WIRELESS PROVIDER] guaranteed that the phone would do what I wanted it to do or I could return it to them at their expense and pay absolutely nothing any time in the next thirty days.

I'll let you know how that goes for me.

Wherever you are, I hope that you're having a great day!

Don Bergquist – January 24, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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